Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
A Science of the Universe
By Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812–1886)
 
[Born in Templeton, Mass., 1812. Died in New York, N. Y., 1886. The Basic Outline of Universology … with Notices of “Alwato,” the newly discovered Scientific Universal Language, etc., etc. 1872.]

TO affirm deliberately these Immense Contrarieties: That God is eternally, and reigns universally; That God is not, and that Law is all in all; That the Universe was created in Time; That the Universe is itself Eternal and Uncreate; That the Reason is the Supreme Governing Authority; That the Reason is blind and untrustworthy in the most vital domains of being; That Man is born to die; That Man is born to be immortal; That Sin is always duly and severely punished; That there is no Blame and no Punishment, and consequently no Sin—and so on to the end of a huge catalogue of Doctrinal Differences;—to affirm all of this, with the deliberate intention that each affirmation shall be accepted as true, and as part of the larger complex Truth, is, seemingly, to introduce a new order of mystery; but it is a mystery perfectly solvable and comprehensible by the human intellect, by the aid of analogy.
  1
  How tremendous are the contradictions which Science has already taught the enlightened intelligence of mankind to accept, in the physical world! Could any belief have been more thoroughly radicated in the natural and primitive convictions of the race than that a single fixed point in the sky over our heads is Up, and that another such point beneath our feet is Down; that the solid material earth, on which we live, must have a still more solid and material foundation beneath it on which to rest? In three hundred years all this has been changed for the civilized nations, and we now accept and find the ready means of intellectual reconciliation with the contrary propositions: That every point in the sky may be Up, and every point Down; That from the centre of the earth it is alike Up, to every other point in Space; That the solid earth is a globe swinging in the Mid-Heavens, with no material foundations of support whatsoever; and so on through an immense list of the utter reversals of primitive beliefs, and of contradictory statements, each of which is, nevertheless, intelligently and undoubtingly held to be true.  2
  All this results from the simple recognition of the Doctrine of Diversity-of-Aspects-from-Different-Points-of-View, which the Intellect propounds, but which the Simplistic Faith of childhood ignores and arrogantly repugns. The Adult Age means the Replacement of Primitive Simplisms by cautiously defined Adjustments, the Product of Science or Systematized Observation and Thought.  3
  It is this radically revolutionary reconsideration of every question of Doctrine—Moral, Sociological, and Theological—to which the World is now summoned by the positive discovery of a proper Science of the Universe. The power, in the new ideas, for ultimate conviction is simply irresistible. The New Catholicity will rapidly prevail. Integralism will replace Partialism. There remains no question but the question of Time. If three hundred years have more than sufficed to reverse or modify the whole current of opinion, with intelligent humanity, upon the theory of the World’s structure; now, with the accelerated progress of events, in the mental evolution of the race, three tens of years will more than accomplish as much for all doctrinal opinion and beliefs. Every grand aspect of thought will be scientifically defined, and the sense in which it is tenable will be precisely illustrated in the Material World. Harmony will grow out of dissension and discord; clearness and ineffable beauty out of mystical dogmas and doctrinal confusion. The most stupendous composite variety will be substituted for a central undeveloped Unity, as of the old Catholics on the one hand and, for the divergent isolation of individual centres, like that of Protestantism, on the other. Each will surrender the vicious Aspiration to be the whole, for the better honor of being a Constituent Entity of the Infinite Republic of Truth and Goodness, and organized and orderly operation, in all the affairs of Mankind. The New Jerusalem, the Holy City, will have descended. The Day of Judgment will have virtually come. The Books will have been opened. The Judgment will have been executed. The Final Restitution of All Things will have been accomplished. The Grand Reconciliation will have been effected.  4
 
 
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